WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The All Blacks have replaced two assistant coaches in response to their recent home series loss to Ireland and ahead of a trip to South Africa at the start of the Rugby Championship.
Head coach Ian Foster on Friday was confirmed in his position and captain Sam Cane retained his role when New Zealand named its Championship squad.
Foster said some changes would be made after New Zealand’s 2-1 test series loss to Ireland and on Sunday forwards coach John Plumtree and backs coach Brad Mooar both were replaced.
Crusaders and Fiji assistant coach Jason Ryan will join the squad and take charge of the forwards while Foster will take a more hands-on role with the backs.
“Jason is a proven performer with plenty of experience at international level,” Foster said. “Last year we witnessed first-hand the impact he has made on Fiji’s forwards, adding to his continual growth as the forwards coach of the Crusaders. His appointment now is clearly with an eye to the future and to the (2023 World Cup).”
Foster said he feels for Plumtree and Mooar who have been his assistants for most of the last three years.
“Right now, I am really feeling for two fine men who are great rugby coaches that made an enormous contribution to the All Blacks,” he said. “I have no doubt both coaches will go on to great success and I want to thank them for their hard work.”
The All Blacks squad will assemble in Wellington next week ahead of its departure for South Africa where it will play the world champion Springboks in Rugby Championship tests on Aug. 7 and 14.
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